"Century" variants (was: Re: What to do with Gaulish ?)

CE Whitehead cewcathar at hotmail.com
Sun Nov 19 23:41:55 CET 2006

Hi, thanks, I will fill out the forms as I do think someone looking for 
Voltaire or Rousseau will specify Voltaire or Rouseau.
In addition, Middle French is not that far from 17th century; someone 
looking for 17th century French might want both.
So I am particularly interested in the subtags for the 16thc and 17thc.

When the tag indicates the date, the user would then not go to the pages 
he/she did not want, but I feel with literature the only problem would be 
when someone wanted 16th century French translated into Modern French (and 
it is normally not translated, unlike Old French, which often is available 
in Modern French; correct me if I'm wrong here.)

--C. E. Whitehead

>From: "Doug Ewell" <dewell at adelphia.net>
>To: <ietf-languages at iana.org>
>Subject: "Century" variants (was: Re: What to do with Gaulish ?)
>Date: Sun, 19 Nov 2006 00:33:29 -0800
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>CE Whitehead <cewcathar at hotmail dot com> wrote:
>>Of course, an ordinary user looking for a French text might not want 
>>Middle or Old French.  Middle French would be readable probably to the 
>>ordinary user, though different from Modern French.  The documents would 
>>be literary anyway and should not interest the ordinary user and probably 
>>would not come up in a search for business and shopping; they would come 
>>up in a search for French literature.  Only in a search for French 
>>literature I would think (hopefully, if the search engine works, if no one 
>>has put all kinds of fictitious stuff in the meta content information).
>Even scholars of French literature, looking for (say) Voltaire or Rousseau, 
>may not necessarily want to pull up works in Old or Middle French such as 
>the chansons de geste.  The scholar who will accept material in any of the 
>three languages, like the businessman who will accept English or French or 
>Japanese, needs to specify this preference explicitly.
>>In addition, should the pages come up, the second part of the tag 
>>indicates the date of the language.
>Here you are talking about the suggested "12thc" variant subtags, not the 
>ISO 639-based subtags "fr" and "frm" and "fro".
>I stand by the caveats I mentioned about the arbitrariness of tagging 
>language as "12th century."
>>If your pages are inserted into the body of a page created by the host's 
>>application, there is no place to list more than one language at a time; 
>>you can of course list different text processing languages in the various 
>>subsections delineated by html or xml or xhtml  (such as p for paragraph, 
>>div for division, span for still another section heading); but only one at 
>>a time.
>Yes, that is how it is done with existing technologies.  Most text, even 
>multilingual text, is in only one language *at a time*.  For text that is 
>truly in multiple languages simultaneously, such as "she has a certain je 
>ne sais quoi about her," the solution is for the language-tagging structure 
>of the text format -- HTML or PDF or proprietary word processor or whatever 
>-- to allow multiple language tags, NOT for a single language tag to 
>represent more than one language.
>>There is no way to identify a single language as both fr, French, and frm, 
>>Middle French.
>I assume you mean "identify a single text."
>>I'd like to say further that the option of having tags for say the 
>>European languages labelled: 12thc, 13thc, 14thc, 15thc, 16thc, 17thc 
>>would help those who needed to clarify the exact date of a language or 
>>language variant.
>>I feel these would be useful tags!
>Then go ahead and fill out the necessary forms from RFC 4646 and send them 
>to this list.
>Doug Ewell  *  Fullerton, California, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14
>Ietf-languages mailing list
>Ietf-languages at alvestrand.no

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